Why Web Content Needs To Be Optimised For Mobile Devices


Why Web Content Needs To Be Optimised For Mobile Devices

This is an issue I feel quite passionate about as I am here to tell you that if your web content isn't optimised for mobile devices then you should consider the value of putting it online. There are very few people who view web content exclusively on personal computers or laptops these days due to the widespread availablily of mobile devices with varying size and complexity. If you are a business of any kind and you expect your customers to view your content using only computers then you are simply losing business. It is a sad reality but our society is becoming one of convenience and immediacy so if you make someone wait, don't optimise your content or don't take mobile devices seriously then the harsh reality is that customers will look elsewhere for someone who does. It used to be that general consumers were the only primary user but mobile device uptake in businesses has increased with a number of businesses operating from mobile devices, platforms and internet based services rather than from an office which is something to consider if your business is focused on other businesses.

Lets talk about mobile data latency (delay due to overheads), website efficiency and how it relates to consumers. In plain simple english after two (2) seconds if your web content has not loaded, the consumer is already at a point where they are very likely to look elsewhere. Such a small window of time, but in terms of attention you have already made the consumer wait one (1) second too long... I know you are thinking that this can't be right but this is the result of studies and is something that Google has been highlighting for a number of years. So we now know about the time we have but just to make life difficult this rather short window is reduced by the time consumed by mobile data network latency. You may or may not know about mobile data networks, not wifi but telecommunications mobile data, and what is involved but here is a quick rough and ready lesson. Effectively on a 4G network you have up to 500ms (5 requests) or 25% of your max load time eaten up just getting from your mobile to the actual internet. Just to add insult to injury if your website is just plain inefficient mobile data networks compound the issue by adding latency to every request for data so you need to test websites on actual mobile devices using mobile data to really determine how optimised your site is. If you are connected to 3G expect to see the latency double...so a light and responsive website is going to always be the recommended outcome.

So now you have a very basic understanding of why mobile devices need to treated differently, lets talk about some of the the key design issues unrelated to latency that cause users to abandon your site...number one is simply a website that only rescales, noone, and I mean noone wants to have to zoom and scroll around your site and have a care for those people who are technologically challenged. A website that does a partial job of modelling to mobile devices and leaves content off screen or functions that cannot be used is a close second. If you are an ecommerce website and a visitor can't navigate and buy items online while also viewing all the same info they do on a normal website then rest assured they are likely buying from someone else. Also think about the person who wishes to contact you...can't find your contact info or address? They will just call somone else or copy and paste another companies location into their maps application. It is a very basic concept said in many different ways but in essence if you make it inconvenient or a website visitor has to work to give you their business then why should they give it to you?

On the positive side when mobile content is mostly great and there is a little glitch somewhere that still allows a user to do everything they need then this often doesn't cost you business. Unfortunately alot of customers won't take the time to tell you about any issues they experience preventing issues to be resolved. The web developer should catch most of these issues before a site is rolled out but some things get missed, browsers change, standards change and there are too many new devices to expect a website to be future proof. It is in your best interest as a business to check your website regularly on different browsers especially after major software updates on mobile devices that have large market shares such as apple and samsung. In many ways it is a great idea to have your web content audited every six (6) months as a precaution as this can identify and allow you to address issues.

So start by checking your web content, by loading your businesses main website whilst timing how long it takes to load on a mobile device using mobile data. Try looking at your web content every 3-6 months on different browsers and platforms if you do nothing else. If you are an eCommerce site check 20% of your product listings every month on a mobile device and make it part of the process when you add a new product to verify how it appears. If you would like to take more control of the quality of your web content, want to create an audit process that is effective or would like to see what we can offer in terms of web design/development then lease feel free to contact ActsIntuitively. If you are interested in finding out more about what we can do for you then please feel free to visit our main website or contact us. Thank you for your time, for reading our blog post and it would be great if you feel the need to share or like our articles via one of our social media platforms with the @ActsIntuitively tag as applies.

Brent Webster
Technical Services Manager

ActsIntuitively
Bunbury, WA
info@actsintuitively.com.au

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Outbound Links:

  1. [Google - Mobile Analysis in PageSpeed Insights](https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/mobile

  2. [Gizmodo - 4G In Australia: Telstra Is Fastest, But Vodafone Wins On Availability](https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/06/the-state-of-4g-in-australia-telstra-is-fastest-but-vodafone-wins-out-on-availability/

  3. [CableFree - LTE Latency: How does it compare to 2G, 3G and WiFi?](http://www.cablefree.net/wirelesstechnology/4glte/lte-network-latency/

  4. [GlobalDots - Mobile Optimization: Avoid 4G Latency with Performance Best Practices](http://www.globaldots.com/mobile-optimization-avoid-4g-latency-performance-best-practices/

  5. [GlobalDots - Google’s Web Performance Best Practices #6: Optimize for Mobile](http://www.globaldots.com/googles-web-performance-best-practices-6-mobile-optimization/